No, says Tony Coe, Founder & CEO of Saunders 1865 – The VIP Relocation Company
In our work for corporate employers, we represent tenants. Rental Agents (Letting Agents in the UK) represent Landlords. We represent Tenants – robustly! – as part of the VIP relocation services we provide throughout the UK to corporate employers worldwide who are relocating people to, from & within the UK.
Whether the Tenant is the individual being relocated – or whether the lease is being taken by our corporate client (the Employer) – it is the Employer who pays the fee for our service. We don’t ask the Landlord or Letting Agent to pay us a referral fee or any other type of fee! We only represent our clients’ side of the transaction and we don’t need any distracting factors to get in the way of our being able to independently advocate for the Tenant!
The same should apply to the other side of the transaction. Letting Agents shouldn’t be allowed to charge fees to Tenants!
These fees have been in the news lately because the fees charged to tenants have been going up. BBC news recently carried a report about a young couple who rented a modest home. This young couple were forced by the agent to pay an Admin fee of £525, which at that level was a large cost for them to pay on top of the rent and deposit.
The Letting Agent represents the landlord and collects fees from the landlord. I think it’s fundamentally wrong for them also to charge the tenant as well.
In Scotland this is not allowed and it shouldn’t be allowed in the rest of the UK either! It’s a way of exploiting tenants at a time when rents are already sky high.
This is of particular concern to tenants at the lower end of the market. These admin fees that are being demanded are very high in relation to the rents being paid. And surprisingly they tend to be proportionately higher outside of central London, where rents are lower!
Tenants are also being made to pay the costs of the landlord checking their references. These reference checks are for the LANDLORD’S benefit; landlords should pay them as part of the cost of being in business as a landlord!
And, it’s at the low end of the market that there’s the worst shortage of supply of rental accommodation. Tenants are often desperate and in no position to argue with agents over fees. And that’s why Letting Agents are pushing more fees onto tenants. They do it because they can!
I think the Government should step in and outlaw these fees in the same way that they are not allowed in Scotland.
I’d like to hear your views on this. Please use the contact form below to comment – and also use the same form if you’d like to know more about the work we do at Saunders 1865 – The VIP Relocation Company – across London & throughout the UK. Nobody provides a more robust platform for representing Tenants’ interests.
Related Item: You may also be interested in our On-Going Support Tenancy Management program, click here to watch a short video explaining our program